Archive for November, 2012

Paper Holiday Decorations

When I opened up my holiday issue (Nov 2012) issue of House & Home Magazine I gasped at the quirky colourful beauty of a story on paper holiday decorations crafted by my good friend Sarah Hartill.


I love everything about these ideas:  the simple handmade quality, the punchy colour combinations, the out-of-the-box approach to Christmas.  Good job Sarah!  I’m sure you’ll love them too, and you can get full DIY instructions over at houseandhome.com or by clicking here.


Created by Sarah Hartill for House & Home Nov 2012

This poinsettia garland with pink, red and the gorgeous Farrow & Ball wallpaper is drop-dead gorgeous.  For those of you who are wondering, I have a feeling that’s a Mjolk deer pelt on the bench in foreground.  The brass candle stick collection is killer too.

Created by Sarah Hartill for House & Home, Nov 2012

This snowy garland is a mixture of white papers and newsprint I believe and it couldn’t be more stunning!  Love it draped over an industrial bookcase.

Created by Sarah Hartill for House & Home Nov 2012


These handmade ornaments have a decidedly modern feeling with their collage of newsprint and punchy pink glitter.  Love the idea of adding colour to just the top of the newsprint ornament.

Created by Sarah Hartill for House & Home, Nov 2012

Isn’t this laurel wreath amazing?!  I am totally enamoured and think this colour combination is just delish!  I think that’s a velvet bow in pink against the red wreath and icy door and I just have to say hats off to you Sarah Hartill!





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It seems like lots of you are keenly interested in the progress at 303 Mary Street East in Whitby – the NEW Penney & Co location seems to be getting lots of buzz!  I thank you and hope to see you in the store soon!  Let’s pick up where we left off shall we?

After a 2 am painting session (remember, 15 gallons of paint for the walls and ceiling!) the store is starting to take shape.

Amazing what a little white paint can do isn’t it?

As you can see, the gallons of Cloud White paint (and Revere Pewter floors) brightened the place up considerably!  Here, I’m starting to construct some much needed shelving for all of those sought after accessories and cushions.

Penney & Company cash desk area

Move shelving and cupboards went in behind the cash desk with a counter of rustic barn board.  The old corbels are looking pretty great I think!

Here come the fixtures!

Boxes and display tables and fixtures were next and you can see the shelves have been beefed up with trim moulding.  I a was on box-opening duty and had an amazing carpenter, Matthew help trim out these shelves.  He was also responsible for a lot of the bead board along with my uncle Roy.  Go team!

Penney & Co cash desk area again!

As you can see, trim moulding made a big difference on the shelves behind the cash.  The simple shaker cupboards will give me tons of storage and more surface area too.

Furniture is finding it’s home!

Once the furniture started being placed, it really started to come together.   Oh and a fireplace with a red brick surround never hurt!

So much more space!

As you can see the rear of the store is a little rough (and still is as I type this) but there is just a ton more space than the old store to showcase more pieces and goodies for all of you guys!

Penney & Co

The cross back french bistro chairs really look at home in the new space don’t they?  And I am in LOVE with this table!

Penney & Co

This last area is still a head-scratcher for me.  The window is cut in half because the old industrial windows were destroyed for an air conditioner.  I’ve brought in some pieces from family to stretch the budget – an old pine armoire (has since been painted) and the old green work table you may remember from Sara’s grandparent’s basement.  I’m hoping to turn this area in to something really special.

Well there you have it – we’re almost there!  Can’t wait to show you the results here on michaelpenneystyle.com AND more importantly, IN PERSON!

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For those of you who want to see it, here’s the video from Canada AM this week.  Some great tips for easy and great-looking gingerbread houses.  A special thanks to the Bulk Barn for all of the gingerbread and candies!

Watch the full video here.

Canada AM


And for a fun Bulk Barn gingerbread house video, click here!

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Early Morning At Canada AM

Don’t know if you caught Canada AM yesterday morning on CTV but I made my very first appearance and demonstrated the fun and frivolity of making your own gingerbread house for the holidays.  It was an early start – had to be at the studios ready to go at 7 am!

CTV Studios, Toronto


Here’s a little behind the scene’s shot of the gingerbread houses and all of the candy ready to go for the segment.

Behind the scenes at Canada AM

It was a lot of fun making them on air with host Jeff Hutcheson and he and host Beverly Thompson liked the houses so much they asked to keep them as part of their holiday set!  They left me with some of the candies to munch on on the way home from the show.

Which I did.

And on the way to the fabric store.

And Ikea.

I feel sick.


Thank you Canada AM!

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Michael Penney + Canada AM

Here comes another first!

I’ll be appearing LIVE coast-to-coast on CTV’s Canada AM on Monday morning!  I’m told I’ll be on between 8:30 and 9 am EST so keep your eye out!  Looks like in addition to Penney & Co and a wedding this weekend, I’ll be getting my craft on!


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After all of the gutting and floor ripping-outting there was a huge mess inside the new Penney & Company store.  I swear I carried out more pieces of construction debris than I thought possible!  The floors were looking better already and I could see the space for what it would be.  Nice and wiiiiide open.  Next the counter area began to take shape as you’ll see…

View towards the old office, now gone!

That’s an old air conditioner in the middle of the floor.  Too heavy for one person to move so I was awaiting back up…

View towards the middle of the store – much better!

The wooden floors look pretty good here, but towards the back there was a lot red paint, spray paint and even blobs of some sort of mechanic acrylic  Sanding and restoring to natural wood would have taken more time and money than I had.  A fresh coat of paint was in order!

View of the front with windows

You can see here what a transformation some sheets of beadboard made!  Much fresher don’t you think?  Keeping those beams exposed though!

A little messy?

More breadboard being put up…it gets worse before it gets better right?

Towards the front counter again with the door

Now things were really taking shape!  The cash counter was really starting to look like something and was wrapped in beadboard with some old corbels I had kicking around added to prevent it from looking like such a big coffin in the room.  And the dark frames of the industrial windows really added a lot of style next to the beadboard.

View of the front counter

At this point things are really starting to take shape nicely.  So exciting!!!

!!!! Man from outer space?


And now for the messy bit – PAINT!  I rented a paint sprayer from Home Depot for $99/day and it used 15 Gallons of Cloud White paint and then another 6 or so to paint the floors!  Oh and it took me till 2 in the morning.   Those results are coming up…


Happy Friday everyone!  Off to open more boxes at Penney & Co!


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As you know, the exterior facade of the new Penney & Company is quite a peach.

Penney & Company 303 Mary Street East, Whitby Ontario


Despite having next to no funds, I knew something had to be done to soften this first impression of the shop.  I mean, you can’t very well expect to inspire people with this now can you?!  As expensive as it was, I had a local landscaper come and tear up all of this horrible asphalt leading up to the building to make way for something organic.

Tearing up the old asphalt is no easy task!

Next I wanted to define the space a little by adding both a pathway to the unused ‘dummy’ door and a long garden bed beneath those lack-luster windows.  I chose this affordable material for the pathway…


And boxwood bought on sale at the end of the season from Canadian Tire for the garden…

These boxwood shrubs were a steal at the end of the season!

I added a saw tooth border of reclaimed antique red bricks for the garden path, inspired by Martha Stewart’s Turkey Hill gardens.

I just love the patina and colour of these bricks


Martha’s Gardens at Turkey Hill from Gardening Month By Month

The final piece of the puzzle will be a black awning to add dimension and signage to the front of the building.  It’s being designed and made by Brooklin Signs here in town and I cannot wait to see it!  I’ll show you the whole effect once it’s up next week.

Until then, keep following along!


Awning design by Brooklin Signs





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